Nanoleaf today enabled Thread border routers in its Shapes and Elements smart light panels, which should improve integration with other home accessories. This follows the announcement of Nanoleaf Essentials with support for the same protocol in November last year.
Thread is an open networking protocol created by an alliance of companies like Google, Samsung and Qualcomm to let home accessories communicate with each other using peer-to-peer connectivity. Apple later joined the alliance and introduced the HomePod mini as its first product to support the Thread protocol.
As reported by Trusted Reviews, Nanoleaf is now rolling out support for the Thread protocol in its Nanoleaf Shapes and Nanoleaf Elements, which are both smart light panels that can be arranged in multiple positions.
More specifically, the Nanoleaf panels will act as border routers. To use the Thread network, the user needs to have a border router that enables communication between other Thread devices and the regular network. For now, only the HomePod mini has this capability, but luckily Nanoleaf’s smart light panels will now do the job.
The HomePod Mini was the first Thread Border Router available, but that meant that it was only compatible with Apple devices. While Google plans to enable Thread Border Router support on its Nest Hub (2nd gen) and Nest Hub Max, it hasn’t done this so far.
The lack of border routers led to some problems. With the Nanoleaf Essentials range, for example, only Apple users could use Thread for remote control; Android users could use Bluetooth to control devices but this only worked over short ranges.
Now with Thread border router support, owners of Nanoleaf Shapes and Nanoleaf Elements will be able to control their Essentials devices using the Android operating system. This also means that the panels will work with Samsung SmartThings, Amazon Alexa, and Google Assistant.
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